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Drawing in Oxford. Photo by Daniela Olivos.

Teaching is Personal

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Drawing in Oxford. Photo by Daniela Olivos.


Welcome to Stanford. You are entering a place that will endlessly challenge your thinking, your approach to problem solving, and your point of view on your life ahead. Take advantage of this time and meet new people, take new and hard courses. Take risks and do not fear a few setbacks; that is where we really learn. And please seek out your professors and instructors. We want to get to know you! Some are better at reaching out than others but that does not mean they do not want to interact; we really do. Come by office hours to talk about class work but use that time to also share a bit about what you are enjoying and what you are struggling with. Use us a resource and build strong relationships that can lead to choices about majors and leadership positions in those programs.

My favorite classes to teach are the ones that are new topics for students. I teach architecture and few students have had architecture classes in high school. Thus I get to see the learning happen in unique and individualized ways. I get to know the students as they grow into a new set of skills and thought processes. It is really fun to watch a student's face light up when a new concept is suddenly understood or see their pride in a beautiful drawing or model they have created. These are the moments we live for, prepare for and strive for. But the really joy is getting to know the students and working with them through their time at Stanford and beyond. So find many mentors, get to know them and share your successes and failures. Drop in and say hi, show us your work - especially the new things and the things you struggle with. It’s there that the learning occurs.

John Barton

Director of the Architectural Design Program

If you have a Stanford Story you would like to share, contact